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Sam Simmons - About the Weather
Published on Tuesday, 07 August 2012
4

4 stars

Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
Comedy
1-12, 14-26 Aug, 9:15pm-10:15pm
Reviewed by Martin Lennon

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.
 Recommended for age 14+ only.

Bald ‘Super Mario’ look-alike Sam Simmons has brought an innovative comedy show to the Fringe this year. Getting inside his mind is a wild and adventurous journey, and it is easy to understand why the Edinburgh Comedy Award judges picked him out last time round.

The show explores the situations Simmons finds himself in on a day-to-day basis - such mundane matters as bus journeys and putting together an IKEA coffee table.  This is all narrated by a talking radio (yes, really) which tells his life story, and with which he interacts. True to his style, the show is anything but conventional, and switches rapidly from conversations about the weather to angry monologues on the meaning of life.

Simmons’ main skill is his apparent insanity. It adds to the intensity of his comedy, which keeps you hooked even if you might get lost in the storyline at times. However, it’s really the theatrical originality of his show that makes him a twisted genius. His use of props - including shoes and stuffed seagulls - was an absurd and brilliant touch, while the physical element of his comedy is sublime and adds an air of complete silliness (I will never look at a ham sandwich the same way again). And Simmons’ many random bursts into nostalgic songs and jingles from his youth add to the already bizarre display.

I did think his attempts to get the crowd involved were at times overlong and over the top, and there were parts of the show that became repetitive and somewhat predictable, including his relationship with his ‘bus-crush’.  And the show is not for the easily offended, such as the two elderly ladies sat in the front row who promptly walked out when Simmons turned on them.  He responded as only he could - by hissing them out the door.

About the Weather has the power to take you to a dark place, but Simmons is a ray of light that will keep you consistently enthralled. If you go in with an open mind, you’ll leave with the wisdom and absurd ramblings of a star – a star who may have to get used to talking about the weather in Edinburgh.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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